O'Bannon career started by attended USC with John Carpenter, and working on Carpenter's Dark Star doing production design, supervising the special effects, editing, and even appearing as one of four actors on screen. His next gig was was overseeing the special effects on the unfortunately doomed Alejandro Jodorowsky's Dune. Luckily, the failure of that project left O'Bannon broke, homeless, and sleeping on the couch of Ronald Shusett, with whom he wrote the screenplay to Alien. While trying to get that screenplay into production, O'Bannon worked his last effects gig on Star Wars, before going on to write and direct other influential (though lesser known) films. He worked on Heavy Metal, wrote Toby Hooper's Lifeforce, directed the punk zombie classic Return of the Living Dead, and worked again with Ronald Shusett on adapting We Can Remember It For You Wholesale into Total Recall.
This 3rd of July, the dudes at Horror for the Holidays are screening Return of the Living Dead at the Theaters of MOA, the film itself takes place on July 3rd, and we can't think of a better day to see it again, or for the first time, on the big screen! (We've never been aware of any theater in town screening it, but if they have, we've never seen it in the theater.) Come down and appreciate the strange career of Dan O'Bannon with us, and get ready to quote this flick all weekend long!
Return of the Living Dead, Theatres at MOA, $5